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Job opening: Community-Based Research Program Director

June 5, 2018
Contact person: 

Community Relations/Outreach Manager 2 (9341R2)

This position is a full-time appointment in the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA).

The Community-Based Research Program Director will be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders, within and outside the University of Minnesota including community organizations, government and philanthropy, throughout the Twin Cities region, with an explicit focus on organizations active in low wealth communities and communities of color.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the successful operation of CURA’s Community Based Research (CBR) programs that provide applied research assistance to nonprofit organizations and local government agencies in Minnesota. They will also help lead CURA’s two-grant making programs, the Neighborhood Partnership Initiative and Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative.

The Community-Based Research Program Director will also play a significant role in the development of new partnerships and projects and be an active member of broader coalitions and collaborations throughout the region, and public engagement initiatives within the University. They will also provide lead support for the Krusell Program, a fellowship program for students of color in partnership with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The successful candidate will work with other staff at CURA to design and implement community programs that carry out CURA’s mission to connect the resources of the University of Minnesota with the interests and needs of urban communities.


  1. Act as liaison between CURA and community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Twin Cities for the purpose of:
    • Identifying potential community-based research and outreach projects
    • Brokering relationships between CBOs and University faculty and students
  2. Oversee implementation of CURA’s CBR programs
    • Help CBOs identify and detail potential research projects that address local issues
    • Work with students and CBOs to develop work plans
    • Work with CBR team to manage CBR projects
    • Provide assistance and mentoring to students engaged in CBR projects as necessary
    • Work with CBR team to plan and deliver student orientation efforts
  3. Build and maintain relationships with other public engagement units within the University, and represent CURA in other engagement initiatives at the University to help advance the University’s broader public engagement agenda.
  4. Build and maintain relationships with external partners, including funders, public agencies, and non-profit organizations
  5. Participate as a leader in broader collaborations and coalitions
  6. Write and submit grant proposals to fund CURA community program efforts
  7. Ensure deep and meaningful connection with CURA’s research, organizing and grant making programs with community organizations and other potential partners
  8. Represent CURA at various community events, convenings and collaborations.
  9. Provide overall leadership to CURA’s Krusell Fellowship



  1. Eight years experience and prior oversight of a small department or cross-disciplinary team
  2. Commitment to grass-roots CBOs and to helping them succeed
  3. Knowledge of CBOs in the Twin Cities
  4. Three or more years of experience working with CBOs
  5. Bachelor’s degree in urban affairs or related field
  6. Demonstrated ability and experience working with communities of color
  7. Commitment to collaborative decision-making processes and modes of working
  8. Successful grant writing experience


  1. Five or more years of experience working for a CBO
  2. Familiarity with the University’s research, teaching, and outreach missions
  3. Masters degree in urban affairs or related field
  4. Experience with community-university partnerships
  5. Familiarity with framing community needs and issues as community-based research

SALARY: Dependent upon experience and qualifications; $75,200 minimum.

APPOINTMENT TERM & TYPE: 12 month, annually renewable

PROGRAM/UNIT DESCRIPTION: The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) connects the resources of the University of Minnesota with the interests and needs of urban communities and the region for the benefit of all. CURA pursues its urban and regional mission by facilitating and supporting connections between state and local governments, neighborhoods, and nonprofit organizations, and relevant resources at the University, including faculty and students from appropriate campuses, colleges, centers or departments.

CURA strives to be a nationally recognized model for university-community engagement. CURA is founded on the belief that partnership between the university and the community is mutually beneficial. Communities determine issues important to them, and provide an understanding of the context of these issues and the wisdom to shape how they can best be addressed to create vital places to live and work. The university contributes extensive knowledge and expertise to understand community issues and discover new approaches to address them. This model of engaged research leads to outcomes that strengthen the community and enrich academic research.

Application materials must be submitted through the online posting at https://employment.umn.edu. (refer to job ID 324401)

If you are not a current University of Minnesota employee, please apply through this link.

If you are a current University of Minnesota employee, please apply though this link instead (must be logged into MyU).

A COMPLETE application will include:

  1. Letter of application that explains your vision for this position and how your career goals, training and experience support your candidacy;
  2. A complete resume;
  3. Names and contact information of three individuals who can comment on your abilities and experience.

Review of applications will begin on June 18, 2018 and will remain open until the position is filled.

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.